It was usually around the second week of July each summer, when school was just a distant memory, and the days seemed to last forever. The sky was still bright almost an hour past my eight o’ clock bedtime; and even after the nightly story was read, and the prayers were said, the birds continued to chirp outside my bedroom window.
It would be another half hour at least before we’d hear the sounds of the bullfrogs’ chorus from the lowlands, and longer still before the bats began to swoop by, as they hunted for food, in the shadows along the side of the old house.
The blue in the sky melted into grey, and finally to black, and the leaves on the branches moved progressively slower, as the wind died down for the night.
All of the colours in the yard, the green grass, leaves and flowers, were all shrouded in their night-cloaks. The squirrels and chipmunks that scampered across the yard, and up and down the trees all day, were resting quietly.
The crickets seemed to commence their songs all at once, and it was their steady soothing sounds that eventually made it impossible to stay awake.
Tomorrow would be another long, carefree day of childhood. There would be important decisions to make – whether to ride my bike back to the Tay River for a swim, or stay in the yard, and soar high up, into the trees, on the rope-swing. It’s no wonder the summer seemed to go on and on, just like the trains that passed by on the tracks, back the side-road.
There were so many cars zipping by on the tracks, and so many long, slow, days in summer, back in those years of childhood,……………………..when time stood still.
(an excerpt from “Lanark County Calendar: Four Seasons on the Third Line“)